2021 nissan gt-r nismo

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GT-R NISMO engine

A fanatically tuned 600-horsepower engine

Powered by the thrust of high-capacity turbos developed from our GT3 racing program, the GT-R NISMO’s engine is the purest expression of passion, performance, and technology.

2021 Nissan GT-R close up of engine with NISMO badging

Immediate response across the rpm range

Racing improves the breed. Developments from the GT3 racing program include reshaped turbo vanes for quicker spool-up for enhanced response, and a more aggressive delivery of power across the rpm range.

What it takes to wear the badge

An incredible amount of engineering, testing, and manufacturing know-how is required before a vehicle is allowed to wear the NISMO badge. It is truly a badge of honor.

Technology and passion in equal measures

While it is important, data will only tell you so much. A number alone won’t thrill, won’t give an unforgettable driving experience. It takes a special kind of genius – a uniquely human touch – to take science and turn it into a living, breathing, exhilarating machine.

The hidden language of data

Numbers speak – but it takes a special talent to know what they’re really saying. NISMO engineers are involved during the entire development process. They create that unique NISMO feel.

Collaborate, never compromise

It takes a special skill set to create a NISMO. Engineers must be capable drivers and development drivers must be fluent in the language of engineering. They work together, raising the bar for excellence in both.

The “secret ingredient”

NISMO engineers ride along with development drivers – testing, gathering data, experiencing. Working together, the “NISMO-ness” is constantly unfolded. Repeat until Engineer and Driver are satisfied.

It isn’t a NISMO until they say so

It takes a special blend of talent and ability to create the feel of a NISMO. Development drivers are the most dedicated, highest-trained and experienced of all Nissan test drivers. They only sign off on a NISMO product when it meets their exacting standards.

GT-R NISMO handling and performance

Unmatched agility and grip

The GT-R NISMO sets the bar against how all other supercars are judged. Carbon-fiber body panels reduce overall weight, and create additional downforce. The Bilstein® DampTronic® suspension is combined with a NISMO-tuned hollow stabilizer bar to increase the amount of cornering grip, while still providing a civil ride. [*]

2021 Nissan GT-R yellow calipers on Brembo carbon ceramic braking system

Nissan/Brembo® carbon ceramic braking system [*]

Increasing friction – the heart of braking – requires an incredibly hard compound. A lesson learned from racing, carbon ceramic is strong, exceptionally light, and heat-resistant. Making the most of this competition technology, GT-R NISMO employs larger rotors and pads, plus an especially rigid caliper, wearing special paint that will not change color, even at temperatures over 1800 degrees. The lighter weight of the braking system also reduces unsprung weight, enhancing handling and steering response.

2021 Nissan GT-R 20 inch Rays forged wheels

20” RAYS® forged wheels

Connecting the power to the pavement, GT-R NISMO features a 20” RAYS® forged aluminum wheel. 

A reduction in weight allows the suspension to react more quickly to driver input or road conditions, while the open design enhances cooling of brake components. A perfect partner, the tires were designed using supercomputer analysis. The result is a wider contact patch, greater cornering grip, and reduced rolling resistance. A win-win-win situation.

2021 Nissan GT-R closeup of Bilstein Damptronic dampers on suspension system

Competition-tuned suspension

The Nissan GT-R NISMO’s suspension setup is tuned for stunning agility and handling finesse, without compromising refinement. The springs and custom-developed Bilstein® DampTronic® dampers in the front and rear suspension are specially tuned to deliver exceptional grip levels and progressive handling response at the limit. [*]

2021 Nissan GT-R unpainted body on assembly line

Body bonding for enhanced rigidity

To enhance the GT-R’s already rigid platform, additional adhesive bonding was added to key spot welds for increased body shell rigidity.Search InventoryBuild & Price

GT-R NISMO exterior

1. Carbon-fiber hood

Reducing weight over the nose of the vehicle lowers the overall center of gravity, enhances front-to-rear weight distribution, and improves cornering turn-in.

2. Carbon-fiber fenders with air outlets

Carbon-fiber fenders reduce forward mass, allowing the GT-R NISMO to respond more quickly to steering input. Aerodynamic vents come from the GT3 racing program, enhancing downforce.

3. Carbon-fiber roof

Reducing the weight of the roof brings the GT-R NISMO’s center of mass lower, enhancing stability, adding cornering grip and providing flatter cornering. 

Aerodynamics that cut like a knife

2021 Nissan GT-R closeup of carbon-fiber trunk lid interior
2021 Nissan GT-R closeup of carbon fiber spoiler
2021 Nissan GT-R closeup of carbon-fiber side sills

Carbon-fiber rear spoiler

Beauty for the beast. Designed to increase downforce, the Nissan GT-R NISMO’s hand-made dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler features a special coating that allows the carbon fiber “weave” to be felt by the touch.

Carbon-fiber side sills

The carbon-fiber side sills continue the work started at the front of the car – helping to generate additional downforce compared to standard GT-R models. 

Carbon-fiber rear fascia

An elongated yet tapered rear bumper design helps to keep drag to 0.26 Cd. Additionally, the NISMO-tuned carbon-fiber rear fascia – while being aerodynamically designed to help ensure downforce is equally spread from front to rear at all speeds – also helps to lower the center of gravity. 

Carbon-fiber trunk lid

Detail bordering on obsession. The Nissan GT-R NISMO’s carbon-fiber trunk lid adds stiffness, while weighing nearly half as much as a standard trunk lid. 

The Nissan GT-R has been one of the fastest performance cars in the world for more than a decade. However, it’s also been pretty much the same that whole time; it debuted for the 2009 model year and hasn’t received a full redesign since. Nissan has done its best to make updates at least. The only notable differences for 2021 is the elimination of the Track edition model and the return of the iconic Bayside Blue paint color made famous on the R34-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R from the late 1990s (a car that unfortunately was never sold new in America).

As fast and as powerful as the GT-R still is, it doesn’t feel quite as outlandish as it used to. Rivals such as the Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche offer similar levels of performance but with a wider array of features and a more refined driving experience. Then again, the GT-R’s age could be seen as a charming rebuke to ever-advancing technology in cars

The 2021 Nissan GT-R is now available in just two trim levels: Premium and Nismo. Both are powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine making 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque in the Premium and 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque in the Nismo model. That engine is paired to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Both models come fairly well equipped, and the only major differences are a number of performance upgrades on the Nismo model.

Pros and Cons

  • It’s Nissan’s wildest car and that’s how it looks
  • Blistering power and acceleration
  • Brutally effective launch control system
  • Endless cornering grip
  • Well-weighted steering
  • Sky-high price tag
  • Interior is dated
  • Turbo lag remains prevalent
  • Harsh ride quality
  • Wallflowers need not apply

 Nisan GT-R. By Nismo. It’s a whopping 12 years since the R35 GT-R barged onto the scene and single-handedly created a whole new generation of Japanese performance car fans. Twelve years! It predates every Tesla ever made. 

In that time, Porsche has released a new 911 Turbo (the 997), facelifted it, killed it off, done a new 911 Turbo (the 991), facelifted it, killed that one off and is just about to reveal a new 911 Turbo (the 992).

The GT-R is ancient. It’s a dinosaur. And yet, somehow, this old warhorse is till at the top of its game. It’s still a super-coupe benchmark, if you take your driving really, really seriously. Matching your racing overalls to your paintwork-seriously.

We’ve become used to model year updates for the GT-R, with tweaks to aero, styling, a bit more power and so on. And you’d have been forgiven for thinking that after Nissan celebrated 50 years of the GT-R name with the stunning / hideous, part-gold Italdesign GT-R50, that would have been the last hurrah for this generation of ‘Skyline’.

Not so. The hardcore, racecar-inspired GT-R Nismo has had a thorough going over for the 2020 model year, and here’s what’s what.

Chief among the upgrades are new turbochargers from the GT-R GT3 racer. They have one fewer vane than before, so they’re 14.5 per cent lighter and spool up faster 24 per cent faster. A new backplate stops exhaust gases leaking behind the turbo to improve the airflow rate. There’s no quoted increase in power, but the reduced turbo lag makes the car quicker through the gears. And that’s the tip of a nerdy iceberg. 

The 2020 Nismo GT-R has been fitted with 410mm front ceramic brakes – the biggest brakes ever fitted to a Japanese car, don’t-you-know. More to the point, this is the first production GT-R to get carbon-ceramic brakes as standard.

Porsche GT3 RS-style vents above the front wheels billow heat out of the engine bay and smooth airflow down the car’s flanks to make the rear wing more effective. More carbon fibre panels save 30kg in weight. The six-speed, twin-clutch gearbox’s R mode is more intelligent as an auto and shifts faster in manual mode. 

Nissan has even gone to town on the tyres, which are wrapped in wheels now 100 grammes lighter than before. The tyres are a fresh compound and have one fewer groove in the fronts, to increase contact patch by a whole 11 per cent. The tyre’s also a tad more rounded, so when you’re cornering really hard, more rubber is pressed into contact with the road, to generate even more grip. Nissan has many graphs and charts to show you that proves this. Trust us. 

Oh, and because the car’s a smidge lighter, and has more grip, Nissan’s had to retune the Bilstein suspension to account for the tweaks. The depth of engineering and sheer attention to detail in keeping an ageing heavyweight on its toes and swinging hard is just spectacular. Fabulously cool, if you’re a believer. Utterly futile, if you’re not. The GT-R remains one of Planet Car’s most divisive machines. But if you do get it, then there’s an awful lot to like about the fastest, more hardcore, most extreme and road-going GT-R yet.

Normally when a car company says ‘our car has no rivals’ we scoff and immediately think of five, because that’s usually wishful thinking from a car company who knows it doesn’t make the best car in its class. But with the GT-R Nismo, it genuinely is out there on its own. 

There are other track special super-coupes, from Porsche, AMG, and others, but in having a front-engined layout with a well-appointed cabin and space for four, and four-wheel drive for all-weather dependability, the GT-R Nismo is a true outlier. A Jag F-Type SVR wouldn’t see which way it went. So is it perhaps closer to an E63 or M5? Tamura-san says the E63 is a great car, but not a benchmark, because it’s more of an everyday car with extreme performance added on, not a ground-up performance car. 

The Nissan is rougher around the edges on first impression: it graunches and grinds and rumbles around town. But on a track, it morphs into a laser-guided weapon. And on the road, it’s so monstrously capable you can quite see why people get hold of one then immediately need to tune it. There’s a sense of ‘and where is the limit, exactly?’ to this extraordinary veteran’s superpower abilities.

Nissan GT-R Nismo 3/4 profile

Raising the bar once again, the Nissan GT-R NISMO is the dominant supercar of our time. With a unique high-downforce body kit, masterful suspension and high-capacity turbos, it honours over 30 years of Nissan’s NISMO motorsports engineering and passion for superior GT-R performance.



Nissan GT-R Steering wheel and centre console


Recaro® seats close-up


Ergonomically sculpted carbon-fibre-backed reclining RECARO® seats comfortably, yet firmly support the driver and front-seat passenger.

Nismo tachometer close-up


Designed to enhance your driving experience, the carbon-like combi-meter and bold red tachometer sits snugly under a dashboard dressed in silky matte Alcantara®.

Alcantara® steering wheel


For NISMO racers’ ideal combination of grip, feedback and comfort, the steering wheel is covered in Alcantara® and has three spokes, red centre line and stitching.

Nismo shifter close-up


With a red leather-wrapped gear shift and carbon interior encased by red stitched housing, shifting gear has never looked so good.



Nissan NISMO GT-R driving down racetrack


GT-R Nismo rear fascia


Elongated and tapered, the rear bumper helps keep drag to Cd 0.26. Designed to help ensure equal downforce front to rear at any speed, the NISMO-tuned carbon-fibre rear fascia also helps lower the centre of gravity.

Nissan GT-R Nismo rear spoiler


With a carbon-fibre boot lid and spoiler, the NISMO-tuned exterior inspires downforce. Touch the handmade dry carbon-fibre spoiler and feel the textured coating that helps the Nissan GT-R NISMO hold the road.

Nissan GT-R Nismo front fascia


Designed and tuned for the job, the lightweight, yet incredibly strong carbon-fibre front fascia helps maximise downforce. Crafted with Takumi-like precision, a widened front bumper is layered with carbon-fibre sheets to achieve the ideal level of rigidity for reducing drag.

Nissan GT-R Nismo side sills


Continuing aerodynamism at the front of the Nissan GT-R NISMO, carbon-fibre side sills help to generate even more downforce than standard Nissan GT-R models.

GT-R Rays® forged alloy wheel close up


Black-finished 20” 9-spoke RAYS® lightweight aluminum wheels are inspired by the legendary Nissan GT500 race car, with knurling to help keep tyres from slipping around the wheels under heavy acceleration or braking.



Nissan NISMO GT-R engine
GT-R NISMO Suspension Close up


The Nissan GT-R NISMO suspension is tuned for stunning agility, road-holding and handling finesse, without compromising on refinement. The springs and custom-developed Bilstein DampTronic dampers in the front and rear suspension are specifically tuned to deliver exceptional grip levels and progressive handling response at the limit.

GT-R NISMO Turbocharger


A racer’s dream come true, innovative plasma-sprayed bores reduce friction and weight while enhancing cooling, power output and fuel efficiency. Twin NISMO high-capacity GT3 racing IHI turbochargers boost breathing, while optimised ignition timing control for each cylinder with an upgraded fuel pump improves combustion. Thermostatic controlled oil-cooling and oil scavenger pump helps maintain turbocharger oil flow, and a lateral wet and dry sump oiling system keeps it all in check.

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